At Avant Learning we offer a variety of workshops and courses on topics ranging from intercultural communications and competence to needs assessments, online learning development, instructional design and monitoring and evaluation.
These educational programs are 100% customizable to meet the needs and context of your organization. Further, we often design and facilitate educational and cultural solutions from scratch to meet our clients’ unique needs. Below is a sample of workshops that we have recently designed and facilitated:
Intercultural & Diversity Workshops
Cultural Diversity in Higher Education
Canada is known world-wide for its multicultural values and high-quality higher education system. As colleges and universities attract international students to our campuses, we need to embrace this diversity and ensure the quality of our education is based on an approach that ensures faculty and student success.
This workshop is designed to highlight the current global trends that affect the diversity and inclusion in higher education, as well as the latest developments in international and intercultural education that inform best practices in administration, teaching and learning, and student supports. The participants will:
- Identify characteristics of non-native English speakers and language learning processes that affect their learning of academic subjects
- Explore underlying cultural differences that affect students’ learning and engagement with student services
- Discuss ways to address challenges in teaching and support culturally diverse student populations
- Develop strategies to turn cultural diversity into a personal and organizational asset
Personal Intercultural Learning
Personal intercultural learning is the foundation for developing intercultural competence. Such competence enables more inclusive practices in colleges; whether that relates to teaching or providing student supports.
This workshop uses an evidenced-based assessment tool called the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to guide participants towards deep reflection and meaningful action. The participants will:
- Describe research-based cultural dimensions
- Explore monocultural and intercultural mindsets
- Apply the intercultural development model to working/teaching in a culturally diverse environment
- Engage in personal reflection and develop an action plan to further enhance one’s intercultural competence
Culturally Inclusive Teams
A culturally inclusive team is one that embraces and capitalizes on our differences – differences in experiences, backgrounds, and ways of thinking. This is a critical feature of teams in today’s workplace, and a critical skill for staff and faculty to develop within their own teams as well as in their student teams.
This workshop explores intercultural team dynamics and guides participants to discover strategies to enable effective teamwork. Research has shown that diverse teams, when facilitated with inclusive strategies, consistently outperform monocultural teams in terms of innovation and productivity. Participants will:
- Compile individual cultural maps into a team cultural map
- Discuss the potential conflicts and synergies presented in a team cultural map
- Explore the effects of cultural differences on team processes
- Apply inclusive strategies that maximize a diverse team’s talent and enable effective teamwork
Culturally Inclusive Teaching Strategies
The workshop begins by looking at our classroom as a place of cultural practice. What do we expect from our students? What do we expect for ourselves as educators? What do students expect of us?
When faculty view students bringing a vast knowledge of their culture to our classroom and actively contributing to our collective learning, we enable transformative learning where students’ identities are affirmed, and their talents are nurtured.
This workshop will challenge educators to examine their expectations through this critical lens and help them design and implement teaching strategies that allow students to thrive, not just to survive. Outcomes for this workshop include:
- Compare the deficiency vs. asset mindset in the classroom
- Articulate classroom culture that supports students’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives
- Explore ways to incorporate intercultural content into the curriculum
- Examine culturally inclusive teaching strategies and conduct mini-teaching sessions to hone those strategies
- Develop further actions to implement in future teaching sessions
Diverse and Inclusive Organizations
Diversity is the representation of different people in an organization while inclusion is a practice that ensures everyone has meaningfully contributed to the organizational mission. To achieve this outcome, leaders must apply their individual intercultural capacity to transform organizational culture.
This change management practice involves understanding how diversity and inclusion align with an organization’s vision and mission. In this workshop, the participants will:
- Articulate the value of diversity and inclusion as it relates to the organization/team you lead
- Analyze the challenges and opportunities for organizational change
- Managing difficult conversations with diverse populations (including race/ethnicity, gender identity/expression)
- Design strategies and processes to enable the organizational change to reach diversity and inclusion goal
- Define ways to measure progress and success
Learning & Instructional Design Workshops
Instructional Design Strategies and Tools
Instructional design is at the heart of everything we do at Avant Learning. This interactive workshop covers the basics of instructional design and how developers and instructors can use instructional design tools to develop courses (or parts of courses) from scratch as well as redesign already existing courses. This workshop will:
- Introduce research-based adult and online learning concepts, principles and strategies that make online facilitating fun and effective.
- Provides space and skills to facilitate a learning activity (“mini-session”) for your fellow participants.
- Provides participants with the opportunity to:
- Experience being in the learners’ space.
- Think about, share and develop your facilitation skills (online and face to face) with other new and experienced facilitators.
- Integrate adult learning theories and principles into activities you facilitate
- Experiment with a variety of learning-facilitation techniques and strategies
- Use effective questioning and online coaching techniques
- Give and receive constructive feedback
- Model and foster analytical, critical, strategic, creative and reflective thinking
- Work effectively with online teams as appropriate
- Reflect on and plan how to apply what you have learned to other courses and contexts
Training Needs Assessments
Training Needs Assessments (combined with Monitoring and Evaluation) are arguably the most important part of any project. However, they are also the least likely to get done and the most likely parts to be cut from a project as resources become scarcer.
At Avant Learning, we believe that needs assessments are critical to the success of any project be it in education, health care, government or private industry. Organizations that use public sector funding particularly should use needs assessments (combined with monitoring and evaluation) to assess aspects such as capacity building, credibility, sustainability and other key performance indicators. Essentially, needs assessments help organizations identify:
- Where the organization is “at” in terms of achieving its performance goals
- where the organization wants or needs to be in terms of achieving its performance goals
- the gap between where an organization is at and where it wants to be
- a plan to fill in the gap
Avant Learning’s Needs Assessment Workshop covers all aspects of needs assessment including:
- Extant data analysis
- Data collection through interviews, surveys etc…
- Analysis of learning needs
- Subject matter analysis
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
It has been said that to “value” a given project or outcome, one must be willing to “evaluate” it. This is where the critical skill set found in Monitoring and Evaluation becomes paramount. Combined with Needs Assessments, Monitoring & Evaluation projects are arguably the most important part of any project.
However, like Needs Assessments, they are often the least likely to get done and the most likely parts to be cut from a project as resources become scarcer. We believe that M&E is critical to the success of any project be it in education, health care, government or private industry. Organizations that use public sector funding particularly should use M&E (combined with needs assessments) to evaluate aspects such as capacity building, credibility, sustainability and other key performance indicators.
At the end of our workshops on Monitoring and Evaluation participants will:
- have an increased understanding of the concepts used in designing M&E Frameworks and Plans
- describe different program frameworks, M&E frameworks and the difference between the two frameworks
- demonstrate competence in designing Program M&E Plans
- identify and select appropriate indicators for a given program.
- produce their own program monitoring and evaluation framework.